Since you cannot do good to all,
you are to pay special attention to those who,
by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances,
are brought into closer connection with you.
(my first limes from my little lime tree / Julie Cook / 2016)
I certainly know all about that seemingly simplistic little adage…
You know the one…
when life hands you lemons,
Sometimes that seems so much easier said then done…
Plus it sounds somewhat childlike, sappy and far too sweet for the more caustic moments of life.
For it is a far cry from the reality of the nitty gritty lives we are living.
It’s kind of like saying, Life just handed out a pile of crap and now you’re suppose to turn it into something sugary sweet and oh so refreshing…
My lemons on my lemon tree aren’t ripe yet, but the limes are.
Or so I thought they were…
So I wanted to test them…
Turns out they are good and ripe…
Life right now is anything but a time for sipping a nice long, tall and cool glass of lemonade.
Now granted I did grab a lemonade from the drive through at a Chick-fil-A yesterday,
in-between taking Dad here, there and yon…
and their lemonade is the best I’ve found….
but it’s just that somedays even the thought of a refreshing lemonade falls flat on our hearts….
For life is now hard.
It is pulling while pushing.
It is relentless and frightening at the very same time.
While there is both physical and emotional pain.
A friend of mine recently confided a haunting confession…
that he’s been feeling as if a steel curtain had been drawn between him and God.
I think there has been an almost palpable distance and or dryness.
That there has not been that usual deep spiritual connection between him and God.
His feelings have been dried up and most likely rusted tight.
He’s been going through the motions but simply not feeling the Love as it were.
I think St John of the Cross called it the dark night of the soul.
I don’t know a single Believer who has not experienced living in that dark vacuum at some point of other during the course of their life as a follower of Chirst.
Mother Teresa recounted that she had actually spent the better part of her life
living in that darkness.
And yet we see what she was about doing, during the course of her life,
with that feeling of distance and longing heart…
trudging through the darkness, always moving forward toward the Cross.
The naysayers and militant unbelieving will immediately jump on the
“God is maniacal, mean and even evil” train.
Mocking all who dare to believe…yet seemingly struggle and hurt.
Sharply pointing out that this God of ours sits upon His lofty throne
sadistically watching us squirm in our suffering…
And that’s the thing.
Even when it gets hard, dark and painful…
Even when our hearts and bodies are broken.
With or without feelings…
we muster on toward the Cross…
because we were given the very same Divine example….
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
Those limes look fantastic Julie. I don’t think that a lime tree would survive in our climate but we did have another excellent crop of redcurrants after a major fight with the blackbirds.
Sorry that life continues to be such a challenge. For us it is not family but church. Sometimes it seems like we will never see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I feel that God is teaching me so much through the things we have had to deal with this year. Not least the ability to forgive when forgiveness is required on such an industrial scale.
In the meantime I suddenly have a craving for lime juice! I wouldn’t like to say how old the limes are by the time they reach our supermarket shelves.
well David, I would mail you a few but I fear they’d be equally as “old” by the time they’d reach you—plus mailing of the liquid, fragile or perishable…is usually frowned upon by the happy postal people…
the citrus trees really are not for here—as we are too far north for their liking–so mine are in big pots and I haul them to the basement to perch by a window for the winter–they look a little worse for the wear but seem to be holding on…
and as you are the true sailor that I know, I do think of you when I think of limes—that who scurvy thing you know 🙂 hence the limeys of the day….
It does seem as if we’d had our share of battering my friend–maybe the storms will soon abate….
hugs to the other side of the pond
Reblogged this on Talmidimblogging.
Julie, today the women from the Bible Study that I facilitate had a retreat day. A friend of mine shared her spiritual journey and so many of the challenges that she has faced spoke to everyone there for we are all human and face similar challenges. I wish that you could have been there for you would have found spiritual soulmates. We do not understand why God leads us down certain pathways for that is not the journey we would have chosen – BUT it turns out to be the right journey for us. I’m going to email you part of the reflection that we enjoyed today as well as some prayers that I shared with the women. Blessings on you, my friend!
Oh Lynda—that sounds so wonderful!
I had a bit of a Godly encounter today with the guy changing the oil in my car—we struck up a conversation as I told him to go ahead and change the oil even though it was about 500 miles too early but that I’ve been on the road so much and that I don’t know when I’ll have time to swing back by. He asked me about my travels and I told him a little about dad—when he was finished he came to my window and told me that the guys there at the shop start each morning’s day at work with prayer and that he will add dad to their list in the morning—
God thinks of me even when I’m getting my oil changed—I need to be so mindful of Him during all of this!!!
Hugs to Canada where I hope it’s a bit cooler and not as humid!!!
Julie, what a God moment! How wonderful when we have such moments as they are sent by God to give us a hug! I have sent you the reflections I mentioned.
thank you 🙂
Oh Julie this brought me to tears! You simply amaze me. Caught in these trials as you are and you can still speak so beautifully and take us all to the foot of Christ’s cross!!! Love and hugs, Natalie 🙂 ❤